Building A Resilient Beauty Business in 2023 – S02 E01 – Podcast
Welcome to the new season of the Rise Of The Beauty CEO Podcast.
2023 is kicking off with a bang.
The new generation of Beauty CEO’s is upon us, and now more than ever, beauty professionals are starting to see the value in their skills and the benefits of working for themselves.
I am focused this year on building a community of passionate beauty business owners ready to back themselves, step out of the rat race and start strategically building their businesses to focus on profit and support their everyday life.
This year the vision for Beauty CEO HQ will be:
Simplify ~ Profitable ~ Actionable
Today’s episode is based on building a resilient beauty business in 2023.
✨ Learn 4 tips on how to manage the financial downturn.
These are based on my experience buying and growing my 2 salons in 2008 and 2009.
Here is the picture I talked about in the episode:
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Building A Resilient Beauty Business In 2023
What does it mean? What does it look like? How can you build that inside your business?
This is the perfect opportunity for me to share with you my own experience of buying and growing a business in the GFC that happened around 2008 and 2009, Which is also when I thought it would be a great idea to buy my first salon business. I then went on to buy a second the following year.
I thought it would benefit you to hear from someone who has been through it. The personal experience, that knowledge of running a business in a time of financial uncertainty and no, this isn’t going to be a fear-mongering series. This is juicy and exciting. I recommend that you stick with me and go through this process of learning how you can build resilience inside your own business.
Back in 2008, I bought my very first business. I had rented spaces before in different salons, but in 2008 I invested, got a loan, and I bought an existing small business, it was just as the GFC hit. Yep, a young girl with a dream and no concern for what was going on around me.
Now, I knew a little about what was happening because my clientele was affected by the GFC. They had their investments, and they were living on super,
so I knew a little bit, but I still decided just to buckle down. People were still running businesses. People were telling me
“in a financial crisis, that is when the true entrepreneurs take shape because they’re the ones that have the courage and the guts to go after their dream and make it work.”
I decided at the age of 25 that it would be me. I hired a team of staff. I expanded my offers and bought my second business to help expand my space. And the rest, I’ll fill you in on later on in this episode.
We’re going to talk about the importance of building resilience inside your business during this financial downturn and what it can look like and how it can help you to be still successful.
I recommend diversifying your revenue streams. What does that mean inside a service-based business? Consider offering new services or products to generate additional revenue and decrease the dependency on one single source.
let’s just say you are a Nail tech like I am. You want to drive people through your marketing to your business, and you’re going to focus only on one service, which is your nails, but you’re going to be able to diversify what you’re offering.
We bought in Minx nails. We jumped on the bandwagon straight away with gel polish. Even though I still offered nails, I was diversifying what I provided. I could focus on one service and then bring in different types of clientele.
Under one umbrella of services, I had acrylic nails, Minx, pedicures, and gel polish. I had many different streams of income coming into the business, and I set myself and my team up as the experts in my area for these treatments.
Then you’ve got the second option, which is ultimately bringing in a new service you know your clientele wants and needs, bringing in more profit.
I used both of these tactics to be able to grow my income and my client base.
I knew nails were my bread and butter. I knew with nails that I could do it no matter what happened, I would always be able to go in and do it myself. I knew that was the smart thing for me to do, to be able to go deep in with that one service and start to diversify how I made income through the different niches under the umbrella of nails.
Next, I brought on new services and a new product line with a higher profit margin because I had already made some smart moves with my finances, I was able to shift my focus to now diving into higher profit margin services.
Facials and body treatments were the new services I knew I needed to bring on. I looked for brands that weren’t stocked in salons around my area.
I only made that move once I knew I had room for it inside my business plan.
That is where the following three points come in handy.
Streamlining expenses. I reviewed my expenses weekly and looked for areas where I could cut costs without sacrificing the quality of the services. The things I started to look at were my products. Could I buy them cheaper if I bought them in bulk? Where could I get easier access to these things, including free postage? Could I pick them up, or did I get a huge discount if I’m buying more than 12?
I also removed the services that I did not want to do anymore or that wasn’t making me enough profit. I started to streamline how my menu looked. Too often, we just start sticking too many different services on there, thinking that we will be able to attract more clients. Whereas in reality, it just gets messy.
No point in adding a random service like spray tanning if you do not have the setup or you’re known for brows only.
You need to store more stock and maybe spend money on products you don’t need. Be strategic about what you offer as
I mentioned in tip 1.
When I started to streamline my expenses, I went to my rent immediately because I knew that my staff were the key to the lifestyle I wanted for my next business move. If I could get my rent to be reduced, I would be able to then grow the business more profitably.
That’s precisely what I did. I bit the bullet. I moved my salon close by to avoid disturbing the clients and cut my rent in half, which was smart.
I re-adjusted my staff levels. I started to look at how many staff I actually need. What days are we open? How can I spread the staff out? I started to look at what was a profitable move with my opening hours. If I had my lease and I was paying for seven days, how could I use those days and manage the staff better?
I looked at my home budget, of course, and I looked at the everyday expenses of the salon. What other things was I buying that I really didn’t need? Including magazines, extra drinks, and anything extra that isn’t needed or bringing in much of a profit for the business.
I reviewed them regularly with my CEO Money Routine.
Too many people tend to hide away from their finances, fearing they won’t understand it. But really, It’s as complicated as what you want it to be. You don’t have to over-complicate it.
Start looking at what’s coming in and what’s going out. You don’t need to have all these spreadsheets. You don’t need to print out all the reports your systems give you. You need to pick your three top reports
What’s coming in?
What’s going out?
How many retail products are you selling?
Your breakdown of what you are doing per hour.
These are the type of reports that you should be looking at weekly. You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of it, but you do need to be reviewing it weekly to be able to keep ahead of the trends.
Is one of my favourites, focusing on the clients that you already have.
Building resilience inside your business is about looking at the low-hanging fruit you can grab without putting too much effort into it. Did you know that the clients that are sitting there in your books are nine times more likely to buy from you again? That is a lot cheaper than going out and finding a brand-new client.
That is a huge amount of possibility sitting in front of you that most people are giving up on because they don’t want to sell to people.
When you start to refocus your thought patterns on being the beauty CEO and understand what your customer wants from you, allows you to start focusing on your customer retention.
Focusing on customer retention and retaining your existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Once I really understood that “figure nine times more likely to buy from me again” I knew I needed to make a change in the way I was looking at marketing. I already built up the trust, I already knew what these ladies want, and they are willing to give us a go because they like us.
They already trust, like, and have spent money with us. All of that hard work has already been done.
Of course, offering loyalty programs and exceptional customer service to keep them returning is the basic, old-fashioned advice. “Have to rebook your clients before leaving the room. Make sure you’ve mentioned your retail in the room.”
That old marketing style in our industry drove me crazy when that’s all I would get from coaches. I was bored. I need more.
I needed a foolproof way of following up with my clients. I didn’t want to leave that up to my staff because what would happen if my staff were having a bad day? What happens if my client doesn’t have her calendar on her? I didn’t like leaving that as the only option to build a clientele.
I didn’t want to leave that factor, the only choice I had, up to someone else.
I started to focus on making connections with the customer after they left.
I wanted to build another way to reconnect after the client left.
I believe it is our responsibility as business owners to ensure that we are at the front of that client’s mind when they decide that it is time to have a service done.
Things that I started to implement went to the next level
We had welcome kits. A part of the kit was the process of inviting them back in, showing them what other services we offered, and making them an offer to come back in because they’d already visited us.
The one thing I didn’t do in those welcome kits was put a referral card in there.
I believe that we hadn’t actually won that client over the first time they had come in. We did not ask them to refer clients to us because I needed to know that they would return at least three to four times to prove that we were offering the services they wanted and that they were our type of client.
I started to streamline my services. We had hour facials, I realised in these times, my target audience did not want long services every time. I started to look at my target audience and what they wanted from their treatments.
For my ladies, it was less time in the salon, but the same result.
I shortened the treatments and then priced them accordingly.
We marketed the longer facial as the “kick-off treatment” and then moved them into maintenance treatments.
This helped us keep clients happy and to sell more packages. I knew they didn’t want to stay longer than 45 minutes inside the salon. I made our services under 45 minutes.
One thing I didn’t offer was loyalty cards
I did have a point system at some stage, but what i found worked was packaging services and selling them to my customers.
The benefits were a lot better for the client and me. It was similar to a loyalty card, but instead of them having to have a card on them and lose it when they put it in their bag and forget it when they came and forget to stamp it, I used a point system on our system and we sold packages, giving the clients their loyalty bonus when paying upfront.
What this did was lock the client in for their five treatments, it gave them their loyalty rewards straight away, it gave us a cash injection up front, and it opened up the client to buying retail in each of their treatments. You can see all these different layers that we added into our business strategy really started to play a part in the longevity of the business and helped keep the books half full at all times.
Another little thing I did was have a promotional monthly calendar that I would cycle through. I would use it in my email marketing, in my social posts. In our Facebook groups.
I offered memberships, and all of this ties into my last tip for this episode,
Starting to diversify the way you market your business by using digital marketing.
That is more than just posting a reel on Instagram. Investing in the right form of digital marketing in uncertain times is a really good area to keep your business viable for potential clients, utilizing social media, email marketing, and online advertising, or even free online SEO to reach a wider audience and promote your services.
I started implementing email marketing as a big part of our after-client journey.
My email marketing strategy wasn’t to sell to customers. It was a more detailed strategy that built brand recognition.
I could sell packages, last minute appointments and show them all sorts of that were happening in salon, plus more.
Using digital marketing doesn’t mean having to post a reel daily, using social media to align with your business goals and building a real marketing strategy to support those goals. I often hear that people are exhausted with social media, that it’s not working anymore, or that they hate posting on it, or that they just don’t know what to post. They’re only doing trending reels to show up.
Not having a marketing strategy behind it is where you’re going to fall into trouble because the minute you stop posting, you start to lose traction.
I built a website to help with my long-form marketing efforts. We started to strategise how people would find us and what they would learn from us.
I had a blog, a homepage, we had opt-ins. I had all sorts of things that I was able to lead someone where I wanted them to go when someone landed on my business. This is what I recommend to my private clients looking to uplevel.
All of these tips played a massive part in keeping us busy in those quiet times as well.
That is how I did it. I got in front of the herd before it became well-known and believe it or not, people still aren’t using these tactics to their advantage.
I do research for my private clients where I use apps to look at keywords and assess what people are doing on their websites, they’re still only doing the very basic things.
The phrase marketing strategy is a vast topic and can be overwhelming. If you are interested in more detail on what a solid marketing strategy is and how to put one together. Let me know by leaving me a DM or you can go over to my website, where I’ve just put a new section of “Ask the Beauty CEO”.
You can submit your questions to me about your fears, your situation, about your mindset block, whatever it is, and I can see if I can put an episode together. Don’t worry, it will be anonymous, but I can start to focus content around what it is that you want.
Recap the four tips for making your beauty business resilient in 2023.
- diversifying your revenue
- Streamline your expenses,
- focusing on customer retention. I gave you many ideas on how I did that inside my business.
- Use digital marketing to be able to work on the long-term success of the content you make.
If you are ready to start implementing this sort of strategy inside your business and want to learn how to work with me as your mentor, you can find more OUT HERE